Season of Prayer, Week 3
Rachel and several of the Christ Journey ladies are currently reading a book called, Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment, by Linda Dillow. Yesterday evening as we were driving in the car, Rachel shared some thoughts from her reading. The author notes that if we are anxious we haven’t turned our fears over to God; we aren’t trusting.
Over the last few years I have really asked a lot of this wonderful woman. She is a self-proclaimed homebody who isn’t really a fan of change or risky endeavors. And yet several years ago, after we prayed and talked about it, I asked her to be willing to pack up (with a toddler and young baby) and move several hours away to south Louisiana, with only a 1 year contract guaranteed…and no idea what would happen next. And she did it. A year later, though we were far from home and family, I asked her to stay in the New Orleans area for a couple more years. And she did it.
When Rachel agreed to marry me back in 2000, I was preparing for ministry in established churches which, for all of its issues, was (we both thought) a fairly stable job with somewhat predictable expectations and a paycheck that comes around at the same time and in the same amount with regularity. But a few years ago, after she had followed me to Louisiana, I asked her to be willing to give up even the illusion of stability and move with me back to Texas but into the risky life of church planting. And she did it.
…And now I’ve asked her to support and help me in the starting of a new business. And she’s doing it.
If you ask her, she’ll tell you (as she said to me again yesterday) that its not that impressive because she’s been afraid the whole time and has always been at least a little uncomfortable and anxious. Though these are things that the book she’s reading says means she isn’t trusting God, my wonderful faith-filled wife has never let her fears keep her from moving forward when we believed the Lord was calling us to. She may have been anxious, but she stepped out anyway. She commented tonight that she’s still afraid, but believes that if she didn’t trust God in the midst of what we’ve been through there is no way she would have been able to cope without some pretty heavy medication.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear, its the willingness to do what is required even in the face of fear. Though I’m more introverted than many folks, I am certainly more of a risk taker than Rachel. This doesn’t make me more courageous. If anything, she is the one who has shown the greater amount of faith and courage in her willingness to constantly dwell in a land which seems so hostile to her gentle nature.
So today, on Mother’s Day, I thank God for the mother of my children. I stand humbled in the shadow of this woman whose faith dwarfs my own. My prayer for each of us as we move through this following week, dwelling on prayers for faithfulness and courage, is that we will find the courage to continue walking with God through lands in which we never quite get comfortable…until the day we look around and realize we’re home at last.
God of Faithfulness, we acknowledge that even in the midst of our unfaithfulness you have remained faithful throughout the ages. We praise you God because you have shown us a better way. When we are weak, your strength calls us to that which is beyond our own ability; when we are afraid, your courage emboldens us; when we lack faith, your continued faithfulness lights the path. Teach us, O God of Faithfulness, to embrace the Way that originates in you alone.
Where has God proven faithful in your life recently? Spend a few minutes before bed tonight reflecting on last week – where can we point to the faithfulness of God, perhaps in spite of our unfaithfulness?